"Gdzie płynie ten statek?" - "Ten statek płynie na morzu"
"Dokąd płynie ten statek?" - "Ten statek płynie do Gdańska"
And here we have Can I open the window?- I don't know , can you? type of answer.
Then, in translation, they should allow:
Where is this ship sailing FOR (TO)?
They should allow the extra preposition, to accommodate this casual use.
Quick Google search for "sailing for" produces results that are not connected with the destination at all...
It's what most people would say if they were going on a cruise:
Polish is not that pedantic about dokąd and if there's no ambiguity, you can replace it with gdzie.
Conversely, when I was learning Russian at school, the teacher emphasised that we shouldn't use где for direction. The translation of a perfectly proper Polish question "Gdzie idziesz?" to Russian isn't "Где идёшь?", as our 12-year old brains might have suspected, but "Куда ты идёшь?", literally "dokąd idziesz", which is also valid in Polish, but less common.
Exactly! This was the moment, when I realized we most often speak incorrectly in Polish and started paying attention to it.
what about "where does this ship go?"?
and "where does this ship swim?" doesn't sound ok to me.
Yeah, that would be the first thought of most Polish people, but the word 'boat' is so general and vague, that we do accept it for 'statek'. For example "The Boat That Rocked" (great movie) was definitely a "statek"...
Added here, as it was forgotten.
A taxi driver in Gdynia corrected me when I asked for "Łódź do Helu." Once I agreed to "statek" he began driving. :-)
Yes, "łódź" is understood as a small vessel without a deck, with the exception of "łódź podwodna" - a submarine and "łódź żaglowa" = "żaglówka" = sail boat. It is usually a row boat or a small motor boat "łódź motorowa" = "motorówka". We also have larger vessels: medium to large size "statek" and a huge one "okręt".
The difference between „statek” and „okręt” is not the size, but whether it's a civilian vessel (statek) or a military one (okręt). Likewise, there is also a difference between „łódź podwodna” (civilian) and „okręt podwodny” (military).